The Neti Pot

I am fighting a sinus infection. It probably goes without saying, based upon the title of my post.  It has been over a week with this bugger, no pun intended, and the antibiotics have helped a bit, but they haven’t quelled the beast.  Enter, the neti pot.  My doctor recommended it to me as the single best thing for sinus infections–even better than antibiotics.  And then he went on to quote some study about how the neti pot had in fact reduced the number of sinus infections in England, when the government was looking for ways of getting people to rely less on antibiotics.

So.  A neti pot.  This device, this thing, seems right out of the 19th, 18th or even 16th centuries.  I picture Friar Laurence the apothecary from Romeo And Juliet having one of these things in his medicine closet.  “Here, Juliet, just stir in this mixture and give this neti pot a good run and you’ll be free of that heartsickness in a few days.”  The pot is downright homespun.  Downright passed on from someone’s great-great-grandmother or at least from the country doctor or even medicine man in the village.  How is it that this thing works such wonders in today’s modern era?

And yet, the neti pot has a good reputation.  Even before using it, friends and family extolled its virtues, sharing anecdotes of times when it “cured their ailment” or times when it was “the only thing that worked.”  Indeed, this little aladdin-lamp-like pot has a loyal following.  I decided to give it a try.

Just how does it work?

You boil water or use bottled water or filtered water and then stir in the provided mixture of sinus salts or whatever one might call them.  Stir.  Then, stand over a sink, head down, and use the spout end of the neti pot to pour the mixture into one nostril and then wait while it systematically comes out the other nostril.  Simple.

Intrigued, I decided to do a little research on the history of the neti pot.

It didn’t take long to find out that the neti pot comes from the Ayurvedic tradition.  Interesting.  So, a homeopathic remedy that is trumping the western practices of antibiotics…love it.  Sources claim that practitioners were interested in increasing the quality of the breath coming into the body, and so cleaning the nasal passages became a logical thing to do.  Says this site, using a neti pot not only helps the nose and mouth and eyes, it also clears the mind.

So, as I my initial impressions told me, this device IS in fact completely holistic and ancient.  And, for that reason, I love it.  I revere it.  It holds a place of honor in my collection of over the counter remedies.  The cute and efficient and oh-so-effective neti pot.  A little bit of ancient healing right on my medicine cabinet shelf.

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